Those we have lost

Lior Ben Yaakov, 44: Father of 3 slain while protecting his home

Killed while battling Hamas terrorists near his home in Yesha on October 7

Lior Ben Yaakov (IDF)
Lior Ben Yaakov (IDF)

Lior Ben Yaakov, 44, from Yesha, was killed on October 7 while battling against the Hamas invasion of southern Israel.

The deputy chief of his community’s local security team, he was posthumously recognized as a fallen soldier with the rank of sergeant major in the reserves.

He is survived by his wife, Revital, their three children, Ella, Ziv and Itamar, his parents, Tzipora and Moshe and his two sisters, Revital and Ilanit. His funeral was held on October 12 in Rehovot, and he was buried in Tzohar.

He was called up to the neighboring Moshav Mivtahim at 6:30 that morning when news broke of a terrorist invasion of the area. There, the small security team encountered dozens of terrorists trying to invade the seven small communities clustered together. Lior was slain there alongside his wife’s cousin-in-law and his close friend, Tal Maman, and the pair were buried side by side. Ultimately, the terrorists abandoned their plans to attack those communities and turned around, though five members were killed in the battles.

Lior owned a company that worked on developing products used in emergency medicine.

His sister-in-law, Aya, wrote on Facebook, “Liori, the man who marveled at combining unfathomable seriousness with a spirit of silliness, the man who was like a son to my parents, the man who I resembled more than I did my own sister, the father of Ella and Ziv and Itamar, the man who my sister loved so much. We are left broken.”

Lior’s brother-in-law, Maoz Degani, wrote on Facebook that the pair hadn’t been best friends from the start, “but with time I discovered a funny man, loving, a wonderful father, protective, who loved rock, kind-hearted, knew everything, a fighter, strong inside and out — did I already say funny?”

In time, he said, they became friends, and “I would call to ask for financial advice and Lior would call to ask for marketing advice. Between couscous and coffee at Tzippy and Moshe’s we would talk about the kids, fight about politics, show each other YouTube videos of [Pink Floyd guitarist] David Gilmour.”

Speaking to Yediot Aharonot, Lior’s sister Ilanit said, “I think the best thing I can say about him is that he was the best brother I could have asked for.”

“He was a good friend, a dedicated family man, a man with values and my partner for doing nonsense,” she added. In a Facebook post announcing his death, Ilanit wrote that “my dear brother — the funny, smart, protective, beloved by me and his big sister — has left us. He leaves behind tons of personal charm, laughter, a spirit of silliness, caring, bravery, a loving wife, three sweet and brave children, a pained mother and father, two sisters with a hole in their hearts and many broken hearts.”

His wife, Revital, told the Kan public broadcaster that Lior was a deeply devoted and involved father.

“He’s incredibly smart, he was the main parent, he changed the diapers and combed the hair and made the ponytails and packed the bag for kindergarten, made the sandwiches for school — everything, all of it was him,” she said.

“He was present, in so many things, for that reason his loss is felt so much,” she said.

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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